Transition to Fall 2016 – Fireplace Mantel


Photo Source: Pixabay

How did Week 1 – Porch Transition to Fall go? Did you gather some fall items and decorate your porch or entryway? That quick clean-up and seasonal decor will invite guests into your warm & cozy home, now let’s move indoors and cozy it up, too.

Week 2 –  The Fireplace Mantel– today join me as I focus on transitioning my fireplace mantle from Summer to Fall. No worries if you don’t have a fireplace; you can use a piece of furniture, like a side table, shelf, bookcase or console, which will serve as well for a room’s Fall focal point.

From this…


To This…

a Fall Transition…I love it, and such an easy solution!Fall-firplace-mantle

So many times things work out for the better…let me tell you why this is one of those times! Weren’t you expecting to see a mantel I built? Ha, it’s in the Process still. Originally I thought the bottom (built) section of the mantel was so important in attaining my goals of a the improved fireplace. Well, turns out, the fireplace looks great without the bottom section too! It actually shows a super affordable, and totally instant way to change a builder-grade mantel into a great look.

Remember how it looks without the mantel board…


Here’s How I Did It…

I bought a beefy thick board for $27.00 at Lowe’s (big box store.) I had the Lowe’s guy cut the 8-foot wood board to 71″ (to extend 4″ beyond top bricks on both sides to give plenty of decorating space.)

That’s it, other than laying it on top of the fireplace’s skimpy bricks. No sweat!


My wood board is kiln-dried redwood with interesting colors and veining especially on the side that faces the room. So pretty. It looks great As-Is, but while I allow the wood to acclimate, I am also testing some stains & oils to enhance it. I am using the cut-off piece to test on, using teak oil and Minwax stains. The board’s beefy thickness (1-1/2″) and depth (11-1/4″) gives the fireplace a grander presence to the room. In fact, Captain wonders if we should even use the bottom mantel section. Ha, NOT an option!

So that’s the easy version of of my DIY Mantel – buy or find a hefty slab of wood for an instant and affordable way to customize your skimpy mantle this year.

Styling a Fall Fireplace Mantel…

I have a few proven styling TIPS that I use when styling a mantel, coffee table…or just about anything. I give my fireplace a good cleaning before I start decorating. It surprises me the months of dust I have ignored, but now that activity is moving indoors, the focal point needs to be that shining star of the room.

  • Gather & Use what you already have before heading to the store. This year I only purchased 2 burgundy silk leaf garlands to fit my new fall color palette. Do you recognize this dog picture from last year’s Fall post? The vintage paint-by-number picture still needs to be framed, later this week. And look I also reused last year’s post flannel & suede DIY pumpkins on the mantel…


  • Be flexible & Creative –  That will open you up to use your personal collection treasures, and not recreate what everyone else is doing. Use Pinterest to inspire ideas to create your personal style, not just to copy the latest trend.


  • Vary the heights of items and work in odd numbers. That is so overstated and so under done! Use vases, books or a box to control heights. I used an overturned bronzed vase to lift the candle holder (below) and stacked two fabric gray pumpkins to give height so the top pumpkin can be seen above the garland.


  • Do not over-crowd, Keep it Simple. It is really hard to do that, especially for Fall. At the end of styling I try to remove 1/3 of the items and re-space so there is breathing room. You will be surprised that it looks better when you remove some of the stuff you thought looked great the first-go-around. When I add the bottom section of the mantel, I will edit the look again.


  • Add a SHINE – Especially in dark rooms or during less sunny months. Aside from candles, I used a copper painted vase and a garland with gold metallic-sprayed leaves to add shine to my mantel display. Metallic surfaces give such a warm glow when used on a fireplace mantel.


  • Add TEXTURE – I used birch bark candle holders, a pine cone, faux’liage garland, and suede, flannel and chalk painted pumpkins for a variety of textures.

Now, a peek of my ‘In the Process’ bottom section mantel…remember?


As I sit here typing, my built mantle is in the home stretch, its layers of chalk paint are dry, so it just needs distressing me too and waxing no comment. It won’t be long, I will share the completed (and newly styled) mantel. It was a simple but time-consuming DIY.

So there you go, Week 2 moves your Transition to Fall forward in full throttle. Join me Week 3, I will take you on a quick Fall tranformation, where we will splash warmth throughout the house…so keep your seasonal box out.

How are you decorate your mantel this year?

Please share in the Comments below.

Thanks for meeting me Lakeside!

new Kathy sig w wc & big mug 159x50